New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer
  • New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer


    WotC just released the revised Artificer UA. Now featuring a new, pet-less archetype: The Archivist!




    In February, we presented a revised version of a new character class: the artificer, a master of magical invention. Today we return to that class, now with even more content! Here’s what’s been added:
    • New subclasses—the Archivist and the Battle Smith
    • A revised spell list, including spells from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
    • New infusions—Enhanced Wand, Repeating Shot, and Repulsion Shield
    • A revision to multiclassing—round up when determining spell slots

    Comments 116 Comments
    1. tglassy's Avatar
      tglassy -
      Well, a 17th's level Artificer would have 7 Infusions and 5 infused items, which is basically 5 guaranteed magical items of all kinds of utility from combat to exploration to whatever you can think of. They have 4 cantrips and can switch out their cantrips every short or long rest, something no other caster can do. They also have 14 spell slots going up to lvl 5, with a good selection from what I can see, and they prepare them from the list and "know" their entire list. And that doesn't include the guaranteed list of spells for each subclass, which steer the class towards different specializations.

      Compare that to a lvl 17 Wizard, with 19 spell slots that go up to lvl 9, and their School features. They both can prepare the same number of spells, though Wizards need to learn them and Artificers know them all. If you just compare base class abilities and not the subclass stuff, the Wizard only has 1 extra 5th lvl spell slot than the Artificer, though the Wizard gets it much sooner and at lvl 17 has their 9th lvl spell slot as well.

      So, eliminating similarities, at lvl 17, the Wizard has one slot each of 5th through 9th spells, and the Artificer has 5 guaranteed, permanent magical items that he can switch out (can know 7), with things as powerful as a Belt of Hill Giant Strength and a Headband of Intellect, thus fixing stat problems for either himself or a party member, can switch out his cantrips, and can attack twice. And the Artificer can give those items to party members. Oh, and the Artificer has more health and can use medium armor and shields. And that's without factoring in the Subclass skills, each of which includes a "Pet" of some kind.

      Personally, I'm enjoying this version very, very much. One of the first character concepts I had was a person who has no magical ability but understood the theory of magic so well that he learned how to develop magical items, but the only way I found to do that in 5e was with a Rogue Thief with the Use Magic Device ability. I loved that character, but this is exactly what I'd been looking for. He'd be great Solo, with a trick for every occasion, but in a party he shines as he can provide ultimate support: Permanent Magical Items until they get something better. Who WOULDN'T want one of these guys in their group?
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sword of Spirit View Post
      Seems like they may have forgotten that bard (or magic initiate, if artificer is allowed like it should be) can snag this for non-artificers.
      Yeah, but the bard wouldn't get it until 6th level, which is a level past when casters classes would already have access to Elemental Weapon. And other than variant humans, Magic Initiates won't come into play until a level right before.

      So I don't see this spell being a 1st spell for Artificers to be any huge bump for them over those who might cast Elemental Weapon. Good? Sure. Overpowered? Not when you compare it to other personal damage-increasing spells for melee attacks at 1st level like Hex, Hunter's Mark etc. But maybe that's just me.
    1. trentonjoe's Avatar
      trentonjoe -


      The better comparisons are Hex and Hunter's Mark, both of which are first level spells. They're all variations on a specific effect.

      It's actually way better (maybe not way) than hex and hunters mark because:

      1. You never need to use a bonus action to switch targets
      2. ALL the weapon damage is magical, not just the d6.
      3. You can take advantage of creaturess with vulnerabilites.
    1. trentonjoe's Avatar
      trentonjoe -
      Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
      Good? Sure. Overpowered? Not when you compare it to other personal damage-increasing spells for melee attacks at 1st level like Hex, Hunter's Mark etc. But maybe that's just me.
      I mean , the flip side is that Elemental Weapon isn't exactly a "must have" 3rd level spell.....
    1. Al2O3's Avatar
      Al2O3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
      With the Crossbow Expert feat entrenched in the Player's Handbook, the hand crossbow is already far superior to other bows.
      It takes too long to get the crossbow expert feat after first getting sharpshooter, and with the playstyle my DM prefers the limitless supply of arrows or bolts is a very relevant benefit.
    1. Kurotowa's Avatar
      Kurotowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by trentonjoe View Post
      It's actually way better (maybe not way) than hex and hunters mark because:

      1. You never need to use a bonus action to switch targets
      2. ALL the weapon damage is magical, not just the d6.
      3. You can take advantage of creaturess with vulnerabilites.
      1 is a concession to how much the Artificer's Bonus Action is already in demand. 2 is just the usual "counts as magic weapon" clause which is mostly there to trigger Arcane Armament. I don't think either is a particularly big deal. 3 is true, for as valuable as a d6 or two of vulnerable damage is worth. But Hex inflicts disadvantage to a save type and Hunter's Mark improves your ability to tract the target, so they each have their own strong points.
    1. Paul Farquhar's Avatar
      Paul Farquhar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sword of Spirit View Post
      Seems like they may have forgotten that bard (or magic initiate, if artificer is allowed like it should be) can snag this for non-artificers.
      RAW Magic Initiate only applies to "full caster" classes (paladin and ranger spells are excluded), so I wouldn't extend it to cover half-caster artificers.
    1. trentonjoe's Avatar
      trentonjoe -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kurotowa View Post
      1 is a concession to how much the Artificer's Bonus Action is already in demand. 2 is just the usual "counts as magic weapon" clause which is mostly there to trigger Arcane Armament. I don't think either is a particularly big deal. 3 is true, for as valuable as a d6 or two of vulnerable damage is worth. But Hex inflicts disadvantage to a save type and Hunter's Mark improves your ability to tract the target, so they each have their own strong points.
      I see your point on three, that seems pretty reasonable as a trade off.
    1. MechaTarrasque's Avatar
      MechaTarrasque -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
      RAW Magic Initiate only applies to "full caster" classes (paladin and ranger spells are excluded), so I wouldn't extend it to cover half-caster artificers.
      Since artificers have cantrips (unlike rangers and paladins), I wouldn't be surprised if they errata'd artificer into the feat when the "for publication" version comes out. Of course, if they had said rangers and paladins get exactly two cantrips (spare the dying and true strike) [I didn't say they got two good ones, but both seem reasonable for rangers and paladins to have], they could have made the feat work for all casting classes.
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by MechaTarrasque View Post
      Maybe it is all the smite and aura spells, but the battle smith makes me think it is the paladin artificer.
      Definitely. I wish other classes made use of spell slot burning for class features. The bard as a half caster with the ability to churn slots to buff makes a lot of sense, for instance.
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by trentonjoe View Post
      I mean , the flip side is that Elemental Weapon isn't exactly a "must have" 3rd level spell.....
      Well, no. It has its isolated uses-- being able to give your main damage dealer in the group a specific energy damage attack for when you need it-- but really any 3rd level spell is going to be competing against Fireball and Haste, and thus will usually fall short. Whether this means Elemental Weapon should actually be a 2nd level spell rather than a 3rd? Certainly an argument could be had.
    1. Remathilis's Avatar
      Remathilis -
      Quote Originally Posted by trentonjoe View Post
      I like how they made a third level spell a first level:

      Arcane Weapon
      1st-leveltransmutation
      CastingTime: 1bonusaction
      Range: Self
      Components: V,S
      Duration: Concentration,upto1hour

      Youchannelarcaneenergy intoonesimpleormartialweaponyou’reholding,andchoos e onedamagetype:acid,cold, fire,lightning,poison,orthunder. Untilthespellends,youdealanextra1d6damageofthechos entypetoanytarget youhitwiththeweapon. Iftheweaponisn’tmagical,itbecomesamagicweaponforth espell’sduration. Asabonus action,youcanchangethedamagetype,choosingfromtheop tionsabove.

      AtHigherLevels. Whenyoucastthisspellusingaspellslotof3rdlevel orhigher,youcanmaintainyourconcentration onthespellforupto8hours.


      Which is VERY similar to Elemental Weapon
      A better comparison is Hunter's Mark or Hex.
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by trentonjoe View Post
      I mean , the flip side is that Elemental Weapon isn't exactly a "must have" 3rd level spell.....
      WotC really over-worried about melee damage buff spells. EW is a weak spell. Crusader's Mantle is better due to the fact that it has mass application but even so it's kind of meh.
    1. Stalker0 -
      EW does add an attack bonus, which is important to consider
    1. Matt Clark1's Avatar
      Matt Clark1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by UngeheuerLich View Post
      In general I think the bonus action economy is ok.
      It is just some classes that should do well do not because it is triggering from taking the attack action and because it competes in an unfavourable way with a different feature.

      Good: cunning action/twf.

      Bad:
      ranger in general with hunter's mark
      - beastmaster
      - hunter lvl 11 feature
      - horizon walker

      I also don't like that there is no penalty for using two weapons as a wizard etc.

      So my solution would be something along the line of:
      - twf needs an ability to be used.

      For example:
      Cunning action gives twf as it is now.
      Twf fighting style allows twf as a free attack with your offhand weapon doing no stat bonus to damage.
      You need to check if you allow both features at once. But since both weapons need to be light then it seems ok.

      TWF feat changes to:
      You may use a bonus action to attack with an off-hand dagger.
      You gain +1 AC
      You can draw 2 weapons as part of the attack action.

      Note that it overwrites the rogue feature with an attack that does stat bonus to damage.
      My fix that we use for TWF at our table is this:

      Main and Off-hand Attacks
      • When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you're holding in one hand, you can make +1 additional attack with a different light melee weapon that you're holding in the other hand. All attacks are made at disadvantage.
      • If either weapon has the thrown property, you can throw the weapon, instead of making a melee attack with it.
      Or
      • You can add the damage die for the second weapon to the damage die of the first weapon for each attack. Modifiers are applied as normal to the regular attack.

      Two-Weapon Fighting (Fighting Style)
      • You gain +1 bonus to AC while you are wielding a separate melee weapon in each hand.
      • You no longer attack with disadvantage when attacking with weapons in both hands.

      Dual Wielder (Feat)
      • You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one-handed melee weapons you are wielding aren't light.
      • You can draw or stow two one-handed weapons when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.
      • For each attack granted by the Attack action that you attack with a melee weapon in one hand you can make an additional attack with a different melee weapon you are holding in the other hand

      *Rogues using a light weapon in offhand do not suffer disadvantage on attacks while two weapons fighting. (Gets around the issue of rogues not having the two weapon fighting style).

      Also these changes only apply to melee weapons and the associated styles/feats. Ranged attacks and cross bow expert still use the bonus action to fire the extra attack.
    1. Istbor -
      I like the look of that battle smith.

      That will be something I need to think about or include once I start my 5e/Numenera mixed campaign.
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0 View Post
      EW does add an attack bonus, which is important to consider
      This is true. +1 to hit in a bounded accuracy system is quite something.
    1. MarkB's Avatar
      MarkB -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kurotowa View Post
      1 is a concession to how much the Artificer's Bonus Action is already in demand. 2 is just the usual "counts as magic weapon" clause which is mostly there to trigger Arcane Armament. I don't think either is a particularly big deal. 3 is true, for as valuable as a d6 or two of vulnerable damage is worth. But Hex inflicts disadvantage to a save type and Hunter's Mark improves your ability to tract the target, so they each have their own strong points.
      Hex imposes disadvantage on ability checks, not saving throws. Its combat utility is mostly in impeding Dexterity (Stealth) checks for sneaky opponents, or Strength (Athletics) checks for grabby opponents.
    1. jgsugden's Avatar
      jgsugden -
      Quote Originally Posted by MechaTarrasque View Post
      Since artificers have cantrips (unlike rangers and paladins), I wouldn't be surprised if they errata'd artificer into the feat when the "for publication" version comes out. Of course, if they had said rangers and paladins get exactly two cantrips (spare the dying and true strike) [I didn't say they got two good ones, but both seem reasonable for rangers and paladins to have], they could have made the feat work for all casting classes.
      Agreed, but it might just be a new feat that is similar to magic initiate rather than amending the existing feat.
    1. FlyingChihuahua's Avatar
      FlyingChihuahua -
      Quote Originally Posted by MarkB View Post
      Hex imposes disadvantage on ability checks, not saving throws. Its combat utility is mostly in impeding Dexterity (Stealth) checks for sneaky opponents, or Strength (Athletics) checks for grabby opponents.
      You could also hex a spellcasting ability to futz with Counterspells
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